My inspiration for this record of my days:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Giving of Gifts


Nothing can evoke in me the spirit of Bah Humbug! more surely than wandering up and down the aisles of Walmart, trying to get some ideas for gifts.

I hate the feeling that gifts are obligatory.  “So-and-so will be expecting a gift, but I have no idea what she wants.”  Or “Please bring a gift in the $5-$10 price range for an exchange on Friday.”  All that is, to me, is a time consuming waste of money.  Nobody needs more junk, and if you don’t even know whom will be receiving your $5-$10 gift, how can it possibly be thoughtful or personal?

All too often, I let those grumpy thoughts permeate the whole of my Christmas gifting experience.

Fortunately, this year I have had some gift-giving experiences that have reminded me what it is all about:


After our trip to the dollar store, I overheard Josh and Jonah excitedly wrapping all of the presents they had selected for their cousins and siblings.  They were confiding in and helping each  other as they wrapped.

When the FedEx man admired our citrus trees, we invited him to pick all he wanted.  On his next round of deliveries he brought a  big bag and picked oranges to his heart’s content.


For my mom and each of my sisters, I made an apron.

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It was made from a blanket that my grandmother  had given to my mom many years ago, which was now falling apart.  I cut it up and converted it into aprons so that each one of us could have a piece of that memory to hold on to.  It was a gift that I was truly excited to give.  I even enjoyed the time I spent wrapping them just right.



I guess I can’t change the whole culture of commercialism. And I can’t realistically avoid all of the exchanges that, to me, seem pointless. But I can do a better job of enjoying the meaningful gifts, and focusing on the true spirit of gift-giving.

And I can take more time to ponder the ultimate gift… the gift of a Savior.



  1. I love that idea! quilt/apron... that is such a thoughtful/meaningful gift!